Watermelon Agua Fresca

from CSA Member Jill Peterson

½ to ¾ cup sugar
1 very ripe watermelon, about 12 lbs.
½ cup fresh mint leaves (optional)
2-3 cups cold water or sparkling water
Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)
2 quarts ice cubes
Directions: Cut the watermelon into thick slices. Cut off the rind, chop the melon into large chunks, and place in a large bowl. Don’t worry about removing all the seeds. Working in batches, puree the watermelon in a blender or food
processor. As each batch is ready, pour it through a medium-mesh strainer into
another large bowl. Add ½ cup sugar and optional mint leaves to the puree and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Taste, and add additional sugar if necessary.
Pour the watermelon mixture into a large, clear glass jar or a few pitchers. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2-3 hours. Before serving, add the water and stir to combine. Add ice to the pitchers and serve.

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